Directed by: Michael Mohan
Written by: Andrew Lobel
Starring: Sydney Sweeney, Alvaro Morte, Benedetta Porcaroli, Dora Romano, Giorgio Colangeli, Simona Tabasco
Released: March 21, 2024
Grade: C+


Immaculate clocks in at just 89 minutes.  That’s not because it’s a rich story told in a tight, concise manner but rather, because the storyline is wafer thin.  It’s got all the stuff you might expect from a horror film – tricks of light, spooky noises, weird characters, a creepy music score – but they’re used as stalling tactics to pad the narrative.  If you took out the superfluous scenes, this would end up being a very short film.

The story revolves around a young nun, Cecelia (Sweeney), who has left her home country and taken up a position at a busy Italian convent.  She takes her vows on the first night and promises to devote her life to God.  It’s at that point where things get a little wild.  There are sinister nuns, suspicious priests, a dubious doctor, and an unexpected pregnancy.  I’ll say this much, it keeps you guessing about how they could possibly wrap it up in a way that makes sense (won’t spoil if they actually do).

In terms of genre, writer Andrew Lobel hedges his bets and tries to offer something for everyone.  There are sequences which are brutally violent which tap into the horror label and justify the MA rating here in Australia.  These contrast with scenes where star Sydney Sweeney (Anyone but You) shows an unnecessarily large amount of “skin” which had me thinking it’s a self-aware spoof.  Other elements give off vibes of comedy, mystery, and science fiction.  These genres are not blended together in the right way, and it makes the premise even harder to engage with.

Sydney Sweeney is the film’s biggest positive.  It’s as if she knows the script is garbage but she compensates by calling on an array of emotions – from a shy, naïve newcomer through to a vengeful emotional wreck.  It’s a shame she doesn’t get more support from the underwhelming supporting cast.  Director Michael Mohan adds a splash of style in places (liked a few of the camera angles) but for the most part, it’s formula over creativity.